top of page
  • Writer's pictureElira Barnes

Interview with author M.L.Tishner

I interviewed author M. L. Tishner!

She is the author of the upcoming science fiction/fantasy novel,

The God Queen.

It's great to have her in my author spotlight!

Interview with author M.L.Tishner
Pin this post for later

Elira: Hi Marisa! Welcome to my author spotlight section. What made you want to become a writer?

Marisa: I have always wanted to be a writer. I actually started creating stories when I was about four or five – before I could even spell! I still have notebooks that I used to scribble in and somehow they would be these big stories I would “read” out loud to my family. I essentially grew up an only child (because my siblings are so much older than me) so I had to develop a very overactive imagination to keep myself entertained.

Elira: What is your writing schedule like?

Marisa: Honestly, it’s all over the place. I do most of my writing on the weekends when my husband and I aren’t running around either doing something in our community or visiting friends or doing something family related. When I was out of work, I used to do more during the week days but now that I am back in the workforce – I usually have to wait until I come home after work and get a few hours in before we have dinner and try to unwind for the night. I have a little voice in my head that yells at me when I don’t write to her satisfaction so there are days I am completely at her mercy.

Elira: How important is research to you when writing a book?

Marisa: It’s very important. My space opera is – at heart - science fiction, which does require that a lot of the science is correct and accurate. Also, I have had plenty of beta readers who have called me out when I was too lazy to research something. It let me know how my readers will also react if I don’t take care. A lot of times, it takes a few seconds to do the research – do it. It’ll make your book that much more realistic and your readers will appreciate it.

Elira: Do you set a plot, or do you go wherever the characters take you?

Marisa: I do both. I do have an outline – or at least what important plot points I want to hit. Then I let my characters navigate how I reach those points. Unfortunately, they don’t always behave so I have to come up with either a different way to approach the subject or I have to make a decision of whether or not that plot point is necessary or just needs to be brought up at a later time.

Elira: What can you share with us about your upcoming novel The God Queen?

Marisa: The God Queen tells the story of a young woman who discovers she is the reincarnation of the goddess of lightning and she has been unknowingly groomed for it her whole life. She ends up having to navigate through this new world where one half is pulling her in one direction of being a leader and figurehead with these powers while she has her own goals and plans to avenge her murdered brother that are pulling her in another direction. Things get more complicated as she becomes entangled with a lover from a past life. 

Elira: Does your novel carry a message?

Marisa: Family. Family is very important in this book. I come from a huge HUGE huge family and there are so many aspects of belonging to such a family and a lot of those ideas have made their way into my book: the importance of siding with your family, how your identity can be molded by a name, how sometimes we really don’t know the people we are related to, the dangers of idolizing family members, and how our love for our family can sometimes make us blind.

Elira: What were the easiest and most difficult aspects of writing this book?

Marisa: I find dialogue to be the easiest aspect. My characters are so much fun to write and I am always looking forward to what they say next. The most difficult aspect is not letting them hog the spotlight for their own storyline. For years, I have let my characters have too much free reign so my plot has ended up all over the place and my story then lost structure. I have had to become strict with them and took me years and lots of hard work to get there.

Elira: What are the challenges of writing a book series?

Marisa: The biggest challenge I have is decided what parts of the story need to be contained in one book and how much should I foreshadow for future books. My editor pointed out where I did too much foreshadowing and it pulled my readers in different directions. Less is more in this case. Only pick a few things to foreshadow and the rest either has to have something to do with your current plot or it’ll have to wait until the next book.

Elira: Have you ever experienced writer's block? Any tips on how to overcome it?

Marisa: I do sometimes, but the best advice I can give is to just keep writing and in the words of Stephen King – shovel shit. There are days it will literally feel like pulling teeth, but the more you do it, the easier it will be.

Elira: What advice would you give to aspiring authors?

Marisa: Write. Keep writing. I am a huge advocate in getting your feet wet with blogging and having a schedule (posting once a week or once every two weeks to start). The practice really helps with writers block, because with a schedule you can’t afford to have writer’s block – you have to find a way to keep writing (and the only way to do that is to just keep writing). Also, blogging is a great way to grow your own author platform – which in today’s world is a MUST if you want to be a successful author.

Elira: You are an IAC (Indie Author Central) Advocate. What is this community all about and how can one become a part of it?

Marisa: Indie Author Central is a community focused on raising indie authors to the next level. There is a huge stigma that because a book wasn’t traditionally published it must not be good. That’s not necessarily true – you can find great stories through indie authors! However, being an indie author isn’t enough. IAC believes in producing quality products – having it edited, having a proper cover, as well as having a captivating story and IAC believes in using community to bring these tools to other indie authors (whether it’s in the form of beta readers or vetted designers and editors). If you want to get involved – talk to Lion Key at @letztalkbooks or Nyla K at @authornylak on Instagram or check out our website at for more info!

Elira: Let's get to know you better! What's your favourite writing snack?

Marisa: Mini pizzas with hot sauce. Oh man, I could literally live off of those. When I am feeling fancy, I get the cheese mini pizzas and sprinkle some truffle oil and truffle salt. *drools*

Elira: What do you do when you're not writing?

Marisa: The question is more what am I NOT doing haha. My husband is super active in his community so I join in. I live in Germany so that means there are always folks festivals (or in the winter: Christmas markets) to attend, beer gardens to see, bike trails to be conquered, and friends to visit. I also used these opportunities to take hilarious photos of our pug before he passed away. I am always a sucker for a good story, and I like that sometimes that story is my own. I try sharing my adventures through my expat blog: – however, my current adventure mostly revolves around my journey to publish The God Queen.

Elira: What's your favourite love story?

Marisa: I am a  huge sucker for Sarah J. Maas. She knows how to write slow burn romances that I will reread countless times over. I can never get tired of the romance from A Court of Thorn and Roses. I don’t want to spoil it if you haven’t read it. These were books I immediately started rereading as soon as I finished my first read through – there are few books that have made me feel this way.

Elira: If you had to describe yourself in three words it would be...

Marisa: Love. Adventure. Pug. Three words I use to describe my expat blog. Those three words are literally my life. Love: I moved halfway across the world for my husband (US to Germany) and I would do it again in a heartbeat. Adventure: anything for a good story! Pug: I didn’t realize at first how much being a pug-owner has shaped my identity. But it really changed my world to experience such big pure love from such a small snorting creature.

Elira: What was the last book you read? Did you like it?

Marisa: The last book I read was Crystet by Nicoline Evans. It was such a heartbreaking story and I love Nicoline’s world building. I can’t wait to read the next one in her series!


Did you enjoy reading this interview?

Let us know in the comments below and share this interview with friends.


Get in touch with Marisa!

Instagram: @mltishner


Join The Write Space Forum to start your own conversation.

You can also join my Facebook group, The Write Community, and chat over there.

bottom of page